A HLCT walk through More-Brewer Park with Ryland Rogers, October 2014
Landscape preserved through foresight and serendipity
Two of the most scenic conservation parcels in Hingham were preserved because of one family’s love of the land. World’s End, now held by The Trustees of Reservation, was the family farm of John Brewer and was kept in the Brewer family until it was acquired by TTOR in 1967. Great Hill, now More-Brewer Park, was acquired in 1884 by John Brewer’s son Francis for sheep grazing and with the ultimate goal of creating a town park. In the short term, however, Francis built a house and farm buildings and lived at Great Hill with his family. Francis’s great interest in trees led him to become Hingham’s unofficial tree warden and is reflected in the wide variety of trees and shrubs on the property.
The future of the land became in doubt when the property was sold in 1921 to Brookes More. However, as luck would have it, More’s daughter Katherine eventually married Francis Brewer’s son, Wilmon, and together they preserved the land until they generously gave 107 acres of Great Hill to the town creating More-Brewer park, dedicated in 1985. Together with two earlier land purchases, 30 to the north of Great Hill bordering the railroad and 48 acres across Hobart, the entire complex is 186 acres.
Guided by Ryland Rogers, we walked the elegantly built carriage roads, viewed superb large trees, swamps and Brewer Pond. Remnants of our geological past were visible in the eskers, drumlins and kettle ponds of Great Hill. And, as we stood in the foundation of the immense four story barn and pictured its many uses, workers’ quarters and kitchen, livestock shelter, storage for hay and carriages and a water tower on top, we imagined life in a different time strongly connected to the land.
More-Brewer Park offers gentle walking and cross country skiing. Park is available on Hobart Street and a kiosk just into the woods offers historical and horticultural information and a trail map.